Stephen Robertson

Slanting Lines

Concordance

This concordance provides an index to every word in the poems, excluding a list of common "stopwords".  It may be useful in finding a half-remembered poem, and perhaps in looking at the usage of words in the poems as a whole.  It will be readable only on a large screen.

D

maybe // Ring M about Xmas // Ring Tony
D about works in basement // Tickets for Once Sat night—check time //
blitz on Sheffield.  // In north Africa,
D is killed.  // Later, one of the lodgers— // Polish serviceman and re
e moors.  // But the next war comes, and
D is now called up.  // First to Hunmanby on the north-east Yorkshire c
ome, two days later, // she says to her
dad // “Judith is a painter, isn’t she?”  // Yes.  // “Then why hasn’t s
n.  // Settle.  // Pause.  // Repeat twice
daily .  // (Not by the sun // —use moontime // instead).  //
lage shop to seek supplies // becomes a
daily ritual.  // After the floods of fifty-three // they raised the ra
Twice
daily // Start.  // Tiptoe.  // Probe.  // Grow.  // Push forward.  // Buil
nd now I flick my wand // some miles of
dale and moor to skip across // and find myself in wooded Janet’s Foss
Daydream
Dale Journey // From Ilkley’s old stone bridge I trace a path // again
Yes, there will be more.  // More hills,
dales , crags, beaches // more boat or cycle rides // more walks, more
e sky.  // Mountains, valleys, moors and
dales , meadows, // hills, ravines descending, under the sky.  // Oceans
revives, replenishes, makes good // the
damaged present, this dark night?  // Not to return to old // ways—that
Kitchen again?  // No.  No.  No.  No.  //
Dammit , used them yesterday.  Must be somewhere.  // Start again, from
to make the beta, gamma, delta link.  //
Damn —I had forgotten // that this equation also needs some zeta factor
chen dresser, already ancient in // the
damp basement of the Peckham house // that we bought some forty years
ut below, // tendrils into the dark and
damp .  Now push out above, // buds into the waxing light, the spring ra
ed high, // and head thrown back, I can
dance .  //
Dance // A quarter of a mile or more // straight up // the Mediterrane
This may be the end // The
dance // On the continent // In her very own month of May // she says
ays “Now’s the time—fix the day.  // You
dance to my tune, // I’ll lead.”  But come June // it turns out she ha
kling.  // On the other // the source of
danger // a wolf crouches // his senses tingling, too.  // Around them,
sheep, cowering // —and a lamb, sensing
danger // suckling.  // On the other // the source of danger // a wolf
A handsome prince will boldly go // and
dangers great will bravely face, // the world just so.  // True love wi
.  // Only through the mirror’s gloam //
Dared she look to Camelot.  // Not until the fateful day // When, gleam
she can reach.  // Who is this now, who
dares me eat a peach?  // Time’s warring chariots can clatter by— // we
templation.  // The rest of the world is
dark .  //
n lop-sided vees and slanting lines, //
dark against the sky.  // Ahead, another line, // flat and sharp and na
r.  Push out below, // tendrils into the
dark and damp.  Now push out above, // buds into the waxing light, the
nd the beginning of space // the sky is
dark , but the raging fire // of the sun marks passing time.  // Far dow
of compacted mud.  // Evening.  A great
dark cloud // fire-edged, blots out the setting sun.  // Later, the clo
narrative.  // Born nineteen-seventeen (
dark days of the first world war) // in Sheffield, steel town.  // Moth
stones, and planted fireworks // in the
dark edges beyond the flickering light.  // Nearly-five-year-old Colin
t it whirl away // into the encroaching
dark .  // Feel the earth.  Feel the water return // to the dry ground.  L
Coast to coast //
dark forest // flashing stream // bright sea // rugged moor // sharp m
n wind is bowling on, // trees bending,
dark green leaves showing // their lighter backs, a few edging // towa
party?  // Probably not until well after
dark has come.  // Should I start crawling the miles remaining, or // s
Gathering
dark // Maybe, for some, the resolution lies // in their cups.  Thomas
ast glow // tiny light // fading now //
dark night //
Wake // Fast asleep //
dark night // dream deep // faint light // bird sings // growing brigh
In November the days were short, // and
dark night fell as we built and lit the fire // on the dark stones, an
makes good // the damaged present, this
dark night?  // Not to return to old // ways—that age // has passed.  W
Bonfire //
Dark night // strike match // tiny light // twigs catch // strike matc
Your snore // Alone in the
dark of the night // I would’ve turned on the light...  // But now no m
and natural too: // pale sky encounters
dark sea.  // On the sand, a scattering of razor shells // that would b
n // to the dry ground.  Let the cooling
dark // settle around and about, under and over.  // Complete another r
look up, my love—the sky is calling.  //
Dark shapes are calling each to each: a throng // moves north against
d, // lightning rods earthed.  // On the
dark side of the earth, // in the light of a fire, // and faint starli
as we built and lit the fire // on the
dark stones, and planted fireworks // in the dark edges beyond the fli
ll straight pines reach for the sky, //
dark trunks against the blue, // shed long thin needles.  // In the dis
ea about 2ft square of brush marks in a
darker paint, made by a house-painter cleaning his brush after paintin
rander far, a corniced window bay // in
darker wood.  Clear morning sunlight fills // the room we glimpse insi
ed lattices of life // through glasses,
darkly .  // —A fragment, formulated forty years ago // and filed in the
day // the embers beneath the ash were
darkly glowing, asking only // a slight encouragement.  As the day wen
the clouds by day, // the stars and the
darkness by night, // the ocean, the blue-green-grey-black ocean, // t
cate tendrils far, // invading the inky
darkness , keeping // at bay the frights night has in store.  // Whether
hought she should— // but keeping us in
darkness so // cannot be good.  // Nevertheless I draw the line // at d
ries // more shapes, more colours, more
darknesses // more storms, gales, lightning bolts // more days of sun
r the maiden’s death, // the trout that
dart and pause and flicker under // the bubbling brooks, that chatter
nd do not blink.  // In time, an instant
dash : // a shooting star.  // To the sharp senses, nature has many shar
mass trespass on Kinderscout.  // Meet a
dashing young fellow rambler.  // Marry, find a home // on the very edg
loors.  // (Under the lino, newspaper //
dated 1933 // the year Hitler came to power).  // Then we get on with o
// But within a few years, both son and
daughter // are dead too.  Back to Sheffield again.  // How many friend
wo-down // full of family and lodgers. 
Daughter born // at the height of the Luftwaffe’s // blitz on Sheffiel
lf-century ago // when I first met your
daughter // I have known fragments, snatches— // some now half-remembe
m work // in a Sheffield steel mill.  //
Daughter moves away to teach, and then // to marry me.  Son develops /
rift forms against the wire brush // of
David’s thick black hair, // staying in place until at home // the sma
e ain’t no place for sissies.  // —Bette
Davis //
uld write it in a verse.  // But now the
dawn has come, it does not pass, // this figment of my own imagination
in which I’m caught // Which, come the
dawn , will surely quickly pass.  // I’d paint it for you if I had the a
renew our sense of // time, rebuild the
day .  //
d in // the Newlyn harbour wall.  // One
day , a storm will // simply erase them.  // Four years ago a storm demo
Tomorrow // The
day after tomorrow // tomorrow // will be yesterday.  //
for the living, do not kill // another
day .”  // And yet you stay // inside my head, and take away my will //
Another
day // Another day // to feel your ever-present absence, still // to f
// The Lady of Shalott.  // Working all
day at her loom, // Her mistress never left the womb // That was the f
November: nights are drawing in // the
day begins to go // the clouds are low and spitting rain.  // The light
Do the black boiler hair belly.  // The
day boiler duck is miscellaneous.  //
// go away // sleep clings // break of
day // brighter now // here to stay // morning glow // time to rise //
f the trousers which he had worn on the
day but one preceding.”  // —James Joyce, Ulysses.  //
oving.  // Did I love enough? use every
day ?  // Days for seeing you in different ways.  // Days enough for givi
t tax form??  // Check L’s dob—70 next b/
day ?  // Dentist appointment—week of 10th // Write poem for Weds //
ds.  // No, more than that.  Maybe for a
day — // even more maybe—for a year and a day // in Norfolk where the s
tongue.  Why is it that // this latter-
day fruit so often disappoints?  // Did I just dream the taste?  // But
in memory, for good or ill, // another
day .  // I cannot say // whether I have the necessary skill // to find
ay— // even more maybe—for a year and a
day // in Norfolk where the sign reads slow you down.  //
e interval passed by.  // An uncompleted
day // is not yet to be fixed— // but each interval passing by // may
, // laying down the past— // until the
day , just nine months gone, // when both lines crossed an edge, // and
eese are flying out // on their twice-a-
day migration between feeding grounds // in lop-sided vees and slantin
always the morning // of an uncompleted
day .  // Not until light is fading // has the interval passed by.  // An
ensleydale // they passed the following
day .  // Of shoes and ships and sealing wax, // and such great themes a
water, mix well // mollycoddle for one
day // put in pouch // ready to go // // // Recipe for starting a so
/ But now the light is fading // as the
day slides into the mist.  // Morning is always the morning.  //
, // but notched on the stick // as the
day slides into the mist.  // The long night’s images last.  // But now
ca 1966 // This year it snows on Boxing
Day .  // The country road not cleared for days // —and then of course i
// expecting to find it cold, but every
day // the embers beneath the ash were darkly glowing, asking only //
nd halls // and whether it was night or
day ; // the gardens, and the garden walls // just slipped away.  // Wha
d the rain // the sun and the clouds by
day , // the stars and the darkness by night, // the ocean, the blue-gr
water, mix well // mollycoddle for one
day // throw half away // more flour, water, mix well // mollycoddle f
water, mix well // mollycoddle for one
day // throw half away // more flour, water, mix well // mollycoddle f
water, mix well // mollycoddle for one
day // throw half away // more flour, water, mix well // mollycoddle f
Another day // Another
day // to feel your ever-present absence, still // to find a way.  // I
I suppose tomorrow’s still // another
day // to find a way.  //
only // a slight encouragement.  As the
day went on, // we generated quantities of fuel // and built a roaring
ok to Camelot.  // Not until the fateful
day // When, gleaming in his knight’s array // And gaily singing on hi
May // she says “Now’s the time—fix the
day .  // You dance to my tune, // I’ll lead.”  But come June // it turn
Daydream Dale Journey // From Ilkley’s old stone bridge I trace a path
The other side // The all-clear // Five
days after Charlie Hebdo, I learn // that something is growing at the
The fire once begun // would last for
days and days.  Each morning I came down, // expecting to find it cold
ay.  // The country road not cleared for
days // —and then of course it snows again.  // One afternoon for one b
e once begun // would last for days and
days .  Each morning I came down, // expecting to find it cold, but eve
ys for seeing you in different ways.  //
Days enough for giving and receiving.  // Did I give enough?  // I canno
/ Did I love enough? use every day?  //
Days for seeing you in different ways.  // Days enough for giving and r
(But that was forty years ago // —these
days his hair is white all through.) // ‘Every mile is two’? no, hard
galleries in many places.  Three solid
days in the Uffizi in Florence.  Walking in the drizzle the long appro
.  The Hermitage in Leningrad in Soviet
days .  Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge when it was still managed by Jim Ede
-year-old Emily visits.  // At home, two
days later, // she says to her dad // “Judith is a painter, isn’t she?
o drain // away from you, in those last
days of pain, // another summer, home in Camberwell.  // Between the en
storms, gales, lightning bolts // more
days of sun or rain or passing cloud // more meetings with old friends
ative.  // Born nineteen-seventeen (dark
days of the first world war) // in Sheffield, steel town.  // Mother on
/ Between the endpoints there were many
days // —or should have been—for many kinds of loving.  // Did I love e
ffolk shingle beach.  // In November the
days were short, // and dark night fell as we built and lit the fire /
eace is now long gone.  // In just a few
days ’ time, these two will meet // and clash — and I’m to be the battl
nrol, when they come to Paris // Manuel
de Falla and Igor Stravinsky.  // A turn, a period of change?  // Well,
There must be moonshine // Fin
de siècle.  // Ethel Sargant, botanist // (Girton student 1880s) // bui
out.  // There was a lull— // But he was
dead : // had died three hours after his arrival, // was buried in an u
few years, both son and daughter // are
dead too.  Back to Sheffield again.  // How many friends have you outli
develops // schizophrenia.  // After G’s
death , a chance // for something new: migrate south // to London, two
of so much we’ll never see.  // Life and
death are two, and now are one: // no perfectability except our own.  /
cept our own.  // His senseless trenches
death at twenty three // reminds us of so much we’ll never see.  // Lif
d his level best // to drink himself to
death .  But for these falls, // no drink involved.  // P // The fall is
honist left behind.  // This is the heat-
death of the universe; // the restaurant has closed, // and that was t
the mill-girl’s beauty or the maiden’s
death , // the trout that dart and pause and flicker under // the bubbl
ing for such immortality, // life after
death would not be to my taste; // rather, look forward to final obliv
om next door: // thesis and antithesis,
debate // about it and about, and evermore // voices coming from the r
oom next door:  // Thesis and Antithesis
debate .  // His voice is lively, gestures wide— // there is much sense
against, and more, against and for; //
debate is all—a synthesis can wait.  // Voices coming from the room nex
oom again.  They’ve been there // for a
decade now.  //
anean waves roll on.  // How many years,
decades , centuries // have I lain upon this sandy seafloor?  // I canno
nnot now recall.  // Cities flourish and
decay .  In forgotten corners, // artists create and sometimes destroy.
// In the lecture room // Small hour //
December sounds // What the thunder said // Under canvas // In hospita
to see.  // Below the bulges, // not yet
decipherable , // orange and penny.  // Brandy, a candle: // heat till i
vening stillness // on evening tide.  //
Decisions and revisions and reversions, // reversings and reversals—th
riolets // On Rushup Edge // On the top
deck of a 68 // Dialectic // In the lecture room // Small hour // Dece
ontains our own // tree-house, a canted
deck of ancient planks, // nailed across two angled branches, reached
urban trains; more rarely, // carriages
decked in the blue and gold livery // of the Compagnie Internationale
wind to blow us away // Now sluice the
decks to cool the wood // Way-hay, blow us away // And pour a bucket o
// waiting to be found.  // Waiting for
declension , conjugation, // other morphologic variations, // awaiting
cts, // pieces half-constructed or half-
deconstructed , // for some architectural or mechanical purpose // now
d hooks // were saved from all sorts of
deconstructed // objects: defunct household gadgets, // broken furnitu
ouse is flat // in face, no sign of the
deep bay windows that // adorn most later London terraced fronts.  // O
// godwit, curlew—long // beaks probing
deep // beneath the // shining // mud.  // Cold and clear.  The tide ru
t which // the falling tide reveals the
deep black mud // which oozes softly up between our toes.  Across the
Jan, not June.  // A blue lagoon, // the
deep blue sky.  // The crescent moon // some cryptic rune.  // The sense
t rock walls, knife-edge against // the
deep blue sky.  We take our boots off, // dip our feet into water clea
ure, long beaks buried full // to probe
deep down beneath the shining mud.  //
good // enough, I suppose.  // Somewhere
deep down in my abysmal gut // (well, really, just around the final be
e // Fast asleep // dark night // dream
deep // faint light // bird sings // growing bright // gadget pings //
stream // narrow stream // open moor //
deep lake // high mountain // wide sea // close forest // by lake and
l watches us, then flips away, // dives
deep , leaving behind a swirling wake.  // Nearer, the lapwings forage u
oubt // that somewhere herein lies some
deep philosophy?  // Voices, ipods, phones speak out— // add to the roa
ar Aga, they will emerge // a startling
deep red, and taste delicious.) // Another tree, perhaps a beech, but
e form into rows and columns across the
deep .  // Without knowing what it is, // we take on the purpose of the
nd drawing lines.  // Chomsky looked for
deeper motivation // underneath their surface combinations.  // Now Bri
tell // or take you on a voyage through
deepest space: // fall, fall into the writer’s well-cast spell.  // And
d eight hundred:  Scotland // Dufftown;
Deeside ; Dumfries // roads; villages // One to sixty three thousand th
awn.  // Whichever wins, whichever meets
defeat , // the relict of the fight will be my wound.  // I am transfixe
undred yards // of man’s best effort at
defence // drops thirty feet into a hole.  // One cold winter’s afterno
can then haul up behind us, ready // to
defend against the next attack.  // Towards the river is a group of fir
all sorts of deconstructed // objects: 
defunct household gadgets, // broken furniture, shelves no longer // s
, seeping // under the door, // sending
delicate tendrils far, // invading the inky darkness, keeping // at ba
erge // a startling deep red, and taste
delicious .) // Another tree, perhaps a beech, but green // (I think th
recious hoard (I mean the ones you will
deliver // for tomorrow’s blackberry-and-apple pie // —the ones you at
eta factor // and my clear beta, gamma,
delta connection // is screwed up by a zeta factor // in ways that I c
ction to determine // whether some real
delta integration // is possible at all.  I have to try.  //
suggestion // to make the beta, gamma,
delta link.  // Damn—I had forgotten // that this equation also needs s
s: perspiration // Alpha, beta, gamma,
delta .  // The way is clear.  This formulation // both lays the problem
loughed, the edges fenced, the house //
demolished and rebuilt.  The trees remain.  //
y erase them.  // Four years ago a storm
demolished // the dunes on the beach across the creek // and had a go
alt to worry, and agreed to sell // for
demolition , move to Camberwell.  // (Two weeks later, British Rail’s pl
stand-on weight scale.  A device // for
demonstrating electricity to children: // a wooden board on which are
no drink involved.  // P // The fall is
denied .  // Anyway, the cancer can be blamed // for many things.  Hard
discover their relations, // find their
denotations , connotations.  // Roget charted their associations.  // Zip
ea // swirling stream // smooth lake //
dense forest // rough moor // million-year moor // ten-million-year mo
a mile down the road // and into whose
dense interior // we sometimes venture.  // Beyond the fir-trees lies /
rm??  // Check L’s dob—70 next b/day?  //
Dentist appointment—week of 10th // Write poem for Weds //
t please switch off the lights.  // This
departure has arrived.  // The locomotive will desist from locomotion,
eping pace) // —but Sadiq the Most Evil
deposes poor Boris, and // gets the Red Margaret to look at the case. 
Housepaint // The
depths of south London, 1969.  // A small Victorian terrace house // st
hire; // red was the evening sky.  // By
Derby town they settled down // on purple sage to lie.  // A Cheshire c
he very edge of Sheffield // facing the
Derbyshire moors.  // But the next war comes, and D is now called up.  /
obvious route from the valley, with //
Derwent behind me and scrambles ahead of me.  // Out of the pastures an
ce Ravel has just joined // the Société
des Apaches // (or Bunch of Hooligans) // later to enrol, when they co
ie Internationale des Wagons-Lits // et
des Grands Express Européens pass by.  // In the end, it was the railwa
very // of the Compagnie Internationale
des Wagons-Lits // et des Grands Express Européens pass by.  // In the
up the ridge to the pinnacle.  // Now to
descend , an alternative route which is // known as the Allerdale Rambl
lds below and limestone crags above; //
descend the steps to reach the valley floor— // to leave behind, for n
s and dales, meadows, // hills, ravines
descending , under the sky.  // Oceans, rivers, narrow channels, torrent
Iken Hall // Later, my mother will
describe the house itself // as ugly.  No such thought would cross my
sh Sham; Bisharin // railways; borders;
deserts // One to five million:  Gulf of St Lawrence // Shickshock Mou
ad.”  // The Boris is happy.  “We need a
designer with // boldness and vision—I know just the man.  // He has bu
ure has arrived.  // The locomotive will
desist from locomotion, // this is our final destination.  // These are
air?  // No.  // On television?  // No.  //
Desk ?  // No.  // Bedside table?  // No.  // Kitchen again?  // No.  No.  N
recirculation keeps // Finnegan going (
despite it’s his wake)— // Beethoven’s music is just bloody marvellous
Destination // (and beginning—for G) // From random junctures in prime
t from locomotion, // this is our final
destination .  // These are the buffers, this is the end of the line.  //
ainer ships in stately progress pass //
destined for Harwich or for Felixstowe.  //
orners, // artists create and sometimes
destroy .  Did I really // spring from the hands of the great Praxitele
puzzles which propel // your thoughts,
destroy or reconstruct a case: // jump willing into every word-filled
ataclysm // which will both inspire and
destroy // so many poets and other artists // which will drag us // ki
.  // It’s getting beyond a bad joke.  //
Destroying our comfort’s as rotten // as stealing a library book.  // F
wander // some way in that direction to
determine // whether some real delta integration // is possible at all
to teach, and then // to marry me.  Son
develops // schizophrenia.  // After G’s death, a chance // for somethi
al, // from a stand-on weight scale.  A
device // for demonstrating electricity to children: // a wooden board
ow the west-to-east coast-to-coast walk
devised by Wainwright, you get sunburnt on the right side of your face
ric fan.  The dial of a clock.  Another
dial , // from a stand-on weight scale.  A device // for demonstrating
shing machine.  // An electric fan.  The
dial of a clock.  Another dial, // from a stand-on weight scale.  A de
shup Edge // On the top deck of a 68 //
Dialectic // In the lecture room // Small hour // December sounds // W
rtain pole, // two and a half inches in
diameter (the pole // itself and four-inch rings surely to be found //
de, movements // are born, copulate and
die .  // But for the real turn, the cataclysm // which will both inspir
for wind: we care not a tittle.  // Many
die —thus limiting their needs.  // This time, the bug’s not spread by r
ocial group // —and then, when that one
died , one more.  // Where have all the duffles gone?  // Anoraks now, ev
was a lull— // But he was dead: // had
died three hours after his arrival, // was buried in an unmarked grave
wenty three years later, when my mother
died // we had the proper formal funeral.  // (She had chosen the music
turns.  // Right on cue, Queen Victoria
dies .  // (Next time around, in the digital era // we will take the tur
ally not breed true.  Now strife: // the
different dittoes must compete for life.  // Another billion random cha
at reality in which I live // is likely
different from the one you know.  // It is the space in which I must su
this country that I go.  // It’s likely
different from the one you know: // to you, this is a dream in which I
at change, one more new beginning: // a
different kind of home // here on the north Norfolk coast.  // The wond
tember, meeting you.  // The world looks
different now.  //
now dispel // and conjure me to quite a
different place.  // Jump willing into every word-filled well, // fall,
—are duds.  Nevertheless // ten thousand
different species rise and fall // and rise again.  Great populations p
passing chance of might-have-been, // a
different stitch to cast?  // No, I’m glad we did not meet // before th
se every day?  // Days for seeing you in
different ways.  // Days enough for giving and receiving.  // Did I give
r from land // (Navigation was always a
difficult art, // Though with only one ship and one bell.) // we there
s the Allerdale Ramble, traversing a //
difficult scree but then joining an easier // path with spectacular vi
all the while // the crafty sea is also
digging down // beneath the piles.  Then one stormy night // it pulls
oria dies.  // (Next time around, in the
digital era // we will take the turn on the zero, not the one // makin
her softness, giant but gentle.  // Soft
digits hold softly, lift softly // place softly against another softne
sion of my privacy.  // An assault on my
dignity .  // An abrogation of my autonomy.  // Objective // In my groin
x but fire).  // See this: // the large,
dilapidated country house // that is my mother’s next big venture afte
/ drop cloth, slipper satin, worsted //
dimity , blazer, babouche // borrowed light, dimpse, mizzle, skylight /
low and spitting rain.  // The light is
dimming now.  // Further north the rain teems down // enough to overflo
ty, blazer, babouche // borrowed light,
dimpse , mizzle, skylight // ammonite, mahogany, archive // plummett //
// No.  // Kitchen?  // No.  No.  No.  //
Dining table?  // No.  // Beside easy chair?  // No.  // On television?  //
es around.  // The plants, the fish, the
dinosaurs , the apes // advance across the generations.  Each // sentien
ep blue sky.  We take our boots off, //
dip our feet into water clear and achingly cold, // and dry them on wa
rlour.  Send a letter.  // Scented paper,
dip -pen, ink.  // Branch post office, penny stamp.  // I love you.  // Pa
nder the sky.  // Sea-birds, pond-birds,
dippers , warblers, song-birds, // waders, hunters hovering under the s
ay-hay, blow us away // And we can some
direction find // Give me some wind to blow us away //
d playful, like the wind.  // It changes
direction from minute to minute; // gives me siblings to chase or cris
, if not a line, // at least some vague
direction .  // Once in a while, though, they seem // to switch a gear,
I’ll need to wander // some way in that
direction to determine // whether some real delta integration // is po
ll last and last, // the future is fast
disappearing .  //
that // this latter-day fruit so often
disappoints ?  // Did I just dream the taste?  // But no.  Once in a whil
y bang // —thought it was going to be a
disaster // but then it began rolling out its own // finite but unboun
Unnatural
disasters // Pribble and prabble: as // Nigel’s marauding and // takin
of trees, a very few // of which I can
discern , even perhaps // identify across the years.  A copper beech //
he other two in place.  // Subjective //
Discomfort .  Bother.  // Irritation.  Nuisance.  // Pain? no, not really
own— // you must be nimble.  // Later we
discover // that that was just a sideshow: all the while // the craft
Johnson’s ministrations, // waiting to
discover their relations, // find their denotations, connotations.  //
the brain // and splits apart Edwardian
disdain .  // Man and drill are two, and now are one: // no perfectabili
seas // some people have some nasty new
disease .  // They seem to want our help, but they can whistle // as wel
r palms.  Sometimes you must stop // to
disentangle a particularly tenacious tendril // before you can back ou
of river drives meal chicken, // Olive
dish dried meat floss stir fries a leaf mustard.  // The small bowl of
s and tins are stacked // in increasing
disorder along the back // of the bench, as far as the window.  // Some
// And now, this book, the here and now
dispel // and conjure me to quite a different place.  // Jump willing i
minate and grow, // all tribulations to
displace , // far away and long ago, // the world just so.  //
wed // in magazines, on billboards high
displayed , // each model posed in languid attitude, // in birthday sui
Distance chart // Cambridge–Camden 59 miles //
ooking with unfocussed eyes // into the
distance down the street.  I could not see // what he saw…  // Inspired
e, // shed long thin needles.  // In the
distance , // gnarled broadleaf trees with twisted limbs // shed leaves
points // are signposted with names and
distances // that only roughly match the map.  At others, though, // w
filled well.  // That book will tales of
distant countries tell // or take you on a voyage through deepest spac
o sunlight, over grass, towards // some
distant point outside the picture frame.  // What does she see?  Is the
he marsh-birds calling // echoes of the
distant sea-swell rock them // Breath the scents the sea-winds bring /
everything: // wallpaper from walls, //
distemper from ceilings, // paint from woodwork, // lino from floors. 
/ but flagons.  Flagons might indeed //
distract me, or Suliman, from his pilaf.  // But stay me not with raisi
/ Holiday cottage, the edge of the Lake
District — // family wanting to rest and recuperate.  // Skiddaw is loom
underneath us // churning the water, //
disturbing our roll, // getting higher and closer.  // And the noise.  /
the time // it is just the timing that
disturbs .  The line // mostly carries suburban trains; more rarely, //
tself again, and fill // the world with
dittoed offspring.  Yet it will // occasionally not breed true.  Now str
reed true.  Now strife: // the different
dittoes must compete for life.  // Another billion random changes: all
a seal watches us, then flips away, //
dives deep, leaving behind a swirling wake.  // Nearer, the lapwings fo
long before // the children arrived) I
divided each drawer // into four or more sections, with plywood strips
// Did I submit tax form??  // Check L’s
dob —70 next b/day?  // Dentist appointment—week of 10th // Write poem f
se’s fragile life is there.  // Each new
doctor asks the same once more, // voices from the curtained bed next
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy
dog //
in.  // Two book-ends bracket our shared
domain : // the start, the lobby of a Greek hotel // in summer, where w
indulge in the felicity // Of unbounded
domesticity . // (not the Pirates of Penzance – apologies to WSG) //
Now the rail joints are welded, and the
dominant sound // is continuous and high-pitched.  The borders we cros
down // enough to overflow // the river
Don and flood the plain.  // The light is fading now.  // Politicians on
hen my mother, acquiring a newer model,
donated // the reject to us for our new home.  Or was it // not until
All
done with mirrors // One Friday morning when we set sail // and our sh
Donkeys don’t wear jackets // Shapeless, navy blue or fawn, // three-q
, the light that’s leaking // under the
door .  //
ir.  // Someone snoring in the tent next
door , // a motorcycle coursing up the lane.  // Night-time noises perme
ore // voices coming from the room next
door .  // For and against, and more, against and for; // debate is all—
ssing // from the sofa just outside the
door .  // It really is very annoying— // I hope we don’t lose any more.
y?  Ah, that one.  // But no.  // Table by
door ?  // No.  // Kitchen?  // No.  No.  No.  // Dining table?  // No.  // B
eep gone // in motion // sun on skin //
door open // breathe in.  // Now begin.  //
ch failing faculties to place // at its
door .  Rage too against // the cessation of treatment— // but that is
, // voices from the curtained bed next
door .  // Responses muted, though the sense is raw, // to questions ord
ing it’s spilling, seeping // under the
door , // sending delicate tendrils far, // invading the inky darkness,
.  // Voices from the curtained bed next
door : // someone else’s fragile life is there.  //
.  // Voices from the curtained bed next
door : // someone else’s fragile life is there.  // Each new doctor asks
Start again, from the beginning, by the
door .  // Tables, shelves, cupboards, hooks, drawers.  // Places I would
e silly, that’s just a draught from the
door .  // That tiny movement in the corner?  The hem of an emerging app
Landing light // Under the
door the glow is peeking, // feeling its way across the floor.  // From
ny.  // Voices coming from the room next
door : // thesis and antithesis, debate // about it and about, and ever
it.  // Voices coming from the room next
door :  // Thesis and Antithesis debate.  // His voice is lively, gesture
ding path // leads from the glazed back
door // through box and holly grown to full maturity // to an iron-gat
oom 2; Bathroom; Bicycle shed // walls;
doors ; drains // One to ten:  Tiles // Ormeaux on Bastille; Ormeaux on
// and watch the stars emerge.  // Sharp
dots ; but watch and do not blink.  // In time, an instant dash: // a sh
A trifle // (with
double cream) // Dr Foster went to Gloucester // for a summer spin— //
/ and stop. // † as we step through the
double -starred list of the actinoids // ‡ by means of reactors or coll
out.  // So many people talking: can we
doubt // that somewhere herein lies some deep philosophy?  // Voices, i
citron, calluna // brassica, hay, pelt,
dove tale, pigeon // mouse’s back, mole’s or elephant’s breath // peig
lots, picks them up, // and strews them
downwind .  // The cliff // is of course ephemeral, built // not only on
A trifle // (with double cream) //
Dr Foster went to Gloucester // for a summer spin— // and liked a lass
her morphologic variations, // awaiting
Dr Johnson’s ministrations, // waiting to discover their relations, //
reat when gales are threatening // keep
drafts out and comfort in—but // there was an old man called Michael F
y poets and other artists // which will
drag us // kicking and screaming of course // but maybe also wailing a
face, // the world just so.  // A wingéd
dragon , flying low, // will seek a human sacrifice, // far away and lo
st still catches at my tastebuds // and
drags me back again.  //
the end, the moment life just seemed to
drain // away from you, in those last days of pain, // another summer,
e sound of scraping has ceased.  // This
drain germinates here.  //
at the case.  // “It’s been a fiasco, a
drain on our taxes.  The // tendering process was not at all fair.  //
Glabbeek; Gramsbergen // conurbations;
drained land // One to three hundred and sixteen thousand eight hundre
ar.  The tide runs out, the creek // is
draining back again towards the sea.  // Along the muddy margins, in th
ar.  The tide runs out, the creek // is
draining back towards the sea.  // Along the margins waders // scutter,
Bathroom; Bicycle shed // walls; doors;
drains // One to ten:  Tiles // Ormeaux on Bastille; Ormeaux on Rioja;
sence?  // Don’t be silly, that’s just a
draught from the door.  // That tiny movement in the corner?  The hem o
Command a messenger.  // I love you.  //
Draughty hall.  Now send a letter.  // Parchment, new quill pen, and ink
so // cannot be good.  // Nevertheless I
draw the line // at dropping onto Isaac’s head.  // His inspiration is
// the children arrived) I divided each
drawer // into four or more sections, with plywood strips // carefully
garage sits // a miniature wooden eight-
drawered chest // given to me (budding carpenter) as a child // for na
ace upside down.  // Bedroom again, more
drawers and cupboards.  // Chair with pile of clothes.  // Feel somethin
.  // Tables, shelves, cupboards, hooks,
drawers .  // Places I wouldn’t have put them.  // Move anything they mig
plastic chest with small, clear plastic
drawers // —unlabelled, but the nuts and bolts and washers // are visi
November blues // November: nights are
drawing in // the day begins to go // the clouds are low and spitting
antiations, // ranking, taking logs and
drawing lines.  // Chomsky looked for deeper motivation // underneath t
/ The field is ready now, the lines are
drawn .  // Whichever wins, whichever meets defeat, // the relict of the
casts in plaster or cement or resin, //
draws in pencil or pen or charcoal, // paints in oils on hardboard.  //
Wake // Fast asleep // dark night //
dream deep // faint light // bird sings // growing bright // gadget pi
eam I dreamt // The dream I dreamt, the
dream I dreamt // just slipped away.  // What it said, or what it meant
The dream I dreamt // The
dream I dreamt, the dream I dreamt // just slipped away.  // What it sa
The
dream I dreamt // The dream I dreamt, the dream I dreamt // just slipp
the one you know: // to you, this is a
dream in which I’m caught.  // But through this land, this country I mu
u if I had the art // To you, this is a
dream in which I’m caught // Which, come the dawn, will surely quickly
uit so often disappoints?  // Did I just
dream the taste?  // But no.  Once in a while // a perfect burst still
maybe nothing—maybe she // is pensive,
dreaming , lost in reverie.  // And the artist who is showing us the sce
ore sleeps, more sleepless nights, more
dreams // more seasons bleeding into seasons.  // Just not so many more
a, or of Rosamunde.  // Sorrow, longing,
dreams pervade the path // in any season.  // The author, he whose life
eamt // The dream I dreamt, the dream I
dreamt // just slipped away.  // What it said, or what it meant // I ca
The dream I dreamt // The dream I
dreamt , the dream I dreamt // just slipped away.  // What it said, or w
The dream I
dreamt // The dream I dreamt, the dream I dreamt // just slipped away.
eam-floor ridges // Now a bottom-feeder
dredges // Through the silt of Camelot.  // But what is this small beat
s a scene, a group of people in evening
dress , top hats and the like, appropriate to some earlier era of the h
ng around the Cambridge crematorium, //
dressed for the occasion, // we read the flower-borne messages // and
ge).  // The bench was once // a kitchen
dresser , already ancient in // the damp basement of the Peckham house
symptom, not a cause.  // A // The fall
drew blood.  // No such obvious culprit here, // except for age, pure a
iver drives meal chicken, // Olive dish
dried meat floss stir fries a leaf mustard.  // The small bowl of weddi
ers of the creek as smooth as satin, //
drifting or paddling gently side by side, // through clear and cool an
the world—and I, // roaming, rambling,
drifting under the sky.  //
its apart Edwardian disdain.  // Man and
drill are two, and now are one: // no perfectability except our own.  /
Sculpting the vortex // Jacob’s Rock
Drill pierces through the brain // and splits apart Edwardian disdain.
omas certainly did his level best // to
drink himself to death.  But for these falls, // no drink involved.  //
f to death.  But for these falls, // no
drink involved.  // P // The fall is denied.  // Anyway, the cancer can
e duck head.  // The prefecture of river
drives meal chicken, // Olive dish dried meat floss stir fries a leaf
ller, // sweeps spray from our tops, //
drives us ever onward.  // Where are we going, so fierce and so fast?  /
s slow you down // just in case we were
driving too fast.  // I was probably driving too fast // to see the flo
ere driving too fast.  // I was probably
driving too fast // to see the flowers in the hedgerows.  // We love th
the Uffizi in Florence.  Walking in the
drizzle the long approach road to the Kröller-Müller museum outside Am
The heavy bombers, lighter now, // are
droning back towards their bases, // and fighters too.  The siren call
t.  // Tiptoe.  // Retrace.  // Shrink.  //
Drop back.  // Build speed.  // Build power.  // Pull in.  // Merge.  // Re
, charlotte’s locks, nancy’s blushes //
drop cloth, slipper satin, worsted // dimity, blazer, babouche // borr
l?  Local // excise officer takes to //
dropping by unannounced.  // Catch them at it – // there must be moonsh
.  // Nevertheless I draw the line // at
dropping onto Isaac’s head.  // His inspiration is not mine // (the app
he cropped grass, the sheep- and rabbit-
droppings , // the bare rocks and the ridge, knife-edge against the sky
s // of man’s best effort at defence //
drops thirty feet into a hole.  // One cold winter’s afternoon // we wa
l hold my weight.’  // But every step it
drops you down // into soft snow, up to the tops // of your gumboots. 
wn to earth.  // Seconds later, over the
drumming rain, // a sharp wall of sound.  // Later still, after the sto
not June.  // Back home soon // warm and
dry .  // A crescent moon.  // It’s Jan, not June.  //
earth.  Feel the water return // to the
dry ground.  Let the cooling dark // settle around and about, under and
eath the cobwebbed rafters, // warm and
dry .  // On waters of the creek as smooth as satin, // drifting or padd
o water clear and achingly cold, // and
dry them on warm rock.  //
// Hear the marsh-birds calling // the
drying sand with muddy spots bespeckled.  // Breath the scents the sea-
they know, the rain and the air?  // The
drystone wall slanting across the moor, // the heather and the bracken
owl bowl shrimp // Do a boiler burn the
duck head.  // The prefecture of river drives meal chicken, // Olive di
ck boiler hair belly.  // The day boiler
duck is miscellaneous.  //
// That scar remote Shalott.  // In the
duck -weed-smothered edges // Skinny rats sniff out the ledges, // Whil
ndom changes: all // —or almost all—are
duds .  Nevertheless // ten thousand different species rise and fall //
g was the third.  // (The first two were
duds ; the bits // are somewhere back there, along with // all the othe
e died, one more.  // Where have all the
duffles gone?  // Anoraks now, every one.  //
en thousand eight hundred:  Scotland //
Dufftown ; Deeside; Dumfries // roads; villages // One to sixty three t
r holidays, // we chopped and sawed and
dug and then set fire to // the produce of our labours.  // A box or ho
is seamless // and, in truth, a little
dull .  // From Brussels by local train to Ghent: canals and cobbled str
to home as well: they too can be // as
dumb as all of us, the gods themselves.  //
undred:  Scotland // Dufftown; Deeside;
Dumfries // roads; villages // One to sixty three thousand three hundr
East Hills // Hills?  Well,
dunes // maybe two or three metres above // mean sea level.  // And whe
our years ago a storm demolished // the
dunes on the beach across the creek // and had a go at East Hills.  //
arts // redrawn).  // The line of pebble-
dunes protects // a calmer green oasis, band of salt-marsh // where ba
d—the fir // and silver birch along the
dunes that run // between the marshes and the sea.  The sun // is low
calms, // earthquake-waves and volcanic
dust , // soft breezes and winter gales.  // Was I shipwrecked?  Or cast
e forth; // and at the end, almost with
dying breath, // a swan-song, left behind for us to ponder, // in any
eat.  // Rage, // rage // against // the
dying // of the light.  Do not // go gentle into that good night.  // H
y short // I’ll just have to ask ‘Where
d’you pee?’  //